SPAIN’S children are suffering increased levels of depression caused by the coronavirus lockdown according to a leading children’s charity.
Statistics have been published which say that 17 per cent of youngsters in Spain have felt low during the Covid-19 pandemic, with a larger percentage in economically-struggling families.
The stark figures come from a survey conducted by Save the Children in April, at the height of Spain’s State of Alarm lockdown.
The charity said that some of the most vulnerable youngsters came from homes which were struggling with poverty and economic hardship.
The survey backed up a study conducted by Elche’s Miguel Hernández University (UMH), also conducted in April, that showed that 89 per cent of Spanish parents witnessed changes in the way their children are behaving, as opposed to before the lockdown.
The UMH report said that 69 per cent of children had problems in concentrating, whilst increased nervousness and irritability ranked at over 40 per cent.
Save the Children said its April findings had an upside over the lockdown in that many families enjoyed spending the extra time together, but that they were concerned about the position of less-wealthy households.
The charity’s survey said that 32.3 per cent of youngsters in financially-struggling homes had sleep problems, while just over 30 per cent were scared about contracting the coronavirus, which was substantially higher compared to more well-off families.
Save the Children talked to over 1,800 families and youngsters, and said that a quarter of poorer households had seen people made redundant or have to put up with less money, leading to anxiety levels rising amongst children.
Anders Conde, head of the charity in Spain, said: “Being isolated in very tiny flats with people who are not part of your family is actually a risk because these families are facing two types of stress. They’ve lost their jobs as they cannot work and they are isolated in very tiny places.”